Heterogeneous Preferences for Neighborhood Amenities: Evidence from GPS data

71 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2022 Last revised: 11 Jan 2023

Date Written: January 9, 2023


I study how preferences for neighborhood amenities vary by income. Using data on over 150 million visits to restaurants, shops, personal services, and entertainment places, I estimate a model of demand for amenities. I find that higher and lower income urban residents have heterogenous preferences for individual establishments, which which often vary systematically along observable dimensions such as category, brand, and price level. Using the location and estimated quality of each establishment, I construct an aggregate Neighborhood Amenity Quality Index (NAQI) that measures the value of each neighborhood's overall access to amenities. Despite the heterogeneity in establishment-level preferences, neighborhood-level preferences exhibit strong positive correlation; higher and lower income residents generally agree on which neighborhoods have the best overall access to amenities. Densely populated neighborhoods close to the urban core benefit from residential agglomeration forces and have especially high quality access to amenities. Conditional on population density, neighborhoods with better amenity access tend to be richer, more educated, and have more expensive rents.

Keywords: Neighborhoods, amenities, gentrification, residential choice

JEL Classification: R0, H0

Suggested Citation

Cook, Cody, Heterogeneous Preferences for Neighborhood Amenities: Evidence from GPS data (January 9, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4212524 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4212524

Cody Cook (Contact Author)

Yale University ( email )

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

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